There are some things that people have to experience at least once in their lives. Skydiving, cross-country roadtripping, drugs, and the like are some of them. At the top of the list, however, is going to an Andrew WK show. This is something that no one should be denied, and may the messiah have mercy on anyone who says otherwise. While it's difficult to recount a night of such euphoric bliss, I'll try my best.
Getting the rock rolling was Fireball Ministry, a band that seems to have forgotten it isn't 1987 anymore. Their brand of what is best labeled as generic heavy metal wasn't anything interesting, and while I did enjoy the synchronized headbanging, they were nothing short of spectacularly mediocre. Their target demographic (drunk, jean-jacket clad, mullet sporting old men) loved them, though, and raised their brews triumphantly whenever the lead guitarist/singer shredded some fancy licks.
Next was No Motiv, who continued rolling the mediocrity rock. I've accidentally seen them before, and they closed with the one song I know by them (the one on Vagrant's "Five Years On The Streets" comp), so I was satisfied. Not this time, however, as they didn't play that song. No Motiv is one of those bands that you either kind of like, or are just indifferent to. The majority of the crowd seemed to be the latter, and this meant a boring set.
Picking up the pace was Murphy's Law, partiers to the extreme. They definitely did not seem out of place on an Andrew WK bill, and I can see why he asked them to play. I'd never listened to them before, but from a safe distance, they seemed fun loving, footloose, and fancy-free. Hell, I got no problems with men giving out free booze, and preaching about the wonders of boozin' and smokin'. Also, their bassist was awesome, mostly due to the combination of his stature and the energy he displayed. The band served their purpose well, which was to get everyone into what I call "party mode."
Anxiously waiting for almost a half hour while in party mode is almost painful, but I pulled through. After everything was set, I was ready to (die!) get totally fucking stupid. Without wasting a second, Andrew WK stormed into "Party Til You Puke" and everyone proceeded to go insane; the good kind of insane, though, complete with rocking, prancing, and everything in between. He played a good number of songs from both of his albums, including "Long Live The Party," "It's Time To Party," "She Is Beautiful," and all of the other favorites. Andrew took some time to explain to us that there would never be another May 26th, 2004, so we had better dance like it was the last night of our lives. And did we dance. We danced up a dance storm, and when it subsided, we danced some more. Inspirational speeches are part of the reason I go to Andrew WK shows, and he really delivered this time.
After the ol' one-two combo of "I Get Wet," and "Party Hard," Andrew and the band left the stage. Huh? Andrew WK played in New York City and didn't play the song that bears the Big Apple's name? I thought I knew you better than that, Andrew. We all thought so. But after a rousing "A-W-K!" chant, the man returned and played (suitably) "Victory Strikes Again," which led into the real closer "I Love New York City." The entire crowd was a sea of joyous faces, and we could've all been killed right then and it wouldn't have mattered. That's how you're supposed to leave an Andrew WK show, and everyone at Irving Plaza walked a little taller that night, as we had been graced by the audio messiah.